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Build a Library of Graphics & Photos with Free Resources

As a small business owner it’s important to visually represent your brand well, but it’s not always possible to hire a designer or photographer for every marketing need. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite free resources, that are useful for any small business owner to use for blog posts, marketing materials, or your website.

Make creating shareable content easier by creating a library of stock graphics and photos with free resources. Here's how!

I highly recommend starting an asset library on your computer. Sort it into folders for fonts, illustrations, photos, mockups, templates, etc. Then further subdivide these by theme. For example, your photo folder can have folders for nature, people, cities, and food, to name a few. Many of the resources below have an email list that send new freebies directly to your inbox on a regular basis. Sign up and add the downloads to your library as soon as you receive them. Then you’ll always have images on hand when you need them and won’t have to waste time searching for them anymore.

Most of these are free for commercial use, but always double-check the terms and conditions before using them yourself. Click on each site’s name to head to the site.

Photos

Unsplash

This site has a beautiful selection of high-quality photos with a wide array of subject matter. I particularly like their nature and architecture selection. The photos are submitted by different photographers with a diverse range of styles. Subscribe to the email list to receive ten new photos to your inbox every ten days, or search their site when you need a specific photo.

Death to Stock Photo

Sign up for their email list and you’ll receive a photo pack of ten beautiful images monthly. Each pack has a different theme to it, often based on a location. You can only receive the images by signing up for the email list. It’s well worth it for the high-quality images they provide. Death to Stock also offers membership options for a monthly or annual fee.

StockSnap

If you’re looking for an extensive library of images that’s easy to quickly scroll through, this is the site for you. Photos come from a variety of photographers and new images are added weekly. Sign up to receive a weekly notification when new images are added.

Gratisography

The photos on this site tend to be a little quirky and off the wall. They are taken by one photographer, so all of the images have a pretty similar style. New photos are added weekly. Sign up for the email list to be notified when they are added.

Snapwire

Sign up to receive seven free images weekly. Each photo is by a different photographer, so unlike Death to Stock, there isn’t a theme for the photo packs. You can also scroll through images on their site by those most recently added, or browse by topic.

Graphics

Pixeden

Pixeden has quickly become one of my go-to sites for design resources. They have lots of freebies, as well as a membership option for a larger selection of graphics. They have a great mockups, that are useful for graphic designers to showcase their work. They also offer templates for resumes and invoices, icon sets, and many textures and patterns.

Design Cuts

This site offers a lot of great freebies, including illustrations, textures, and patterns. They also have special deals on bundled resources for a discounted price. I love their font bundles because they are a great value for the number of fonts you receive. They also offer free tutorials, which are helpful for those learning to use Adobe programs.

Creative Market

Every week, there are six free downloads on this site. They are usually fonts, illustrations, or templates. Sign up for their email to receive a notification when there are new free downloads available. They also sell a great selection of reasonably priced fonts, photos, and graphics.

Go sign up for these email lists and get your asset library started. You’ll be thankful you did the next time you need an image for that blog post!

Megan Hampson Megan Hampson founded Letterform Creative in early 2015, after gaining a few years of valuable experience as an in-house designer. She wanted to focus on the kinds of projects she really loves, which include branding for clients in the fashion, food, health, and creative industries. As a small business owner, she loves to empower fellow small business owners through beautiful branding. She enjoys the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, who are eager to support one another in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Follow Megan on Instagram and download a FREE DIY Branding Checklist.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Thanks Megan. I have several Design Cuts packages and Creative Market files, and I have no idea how to organize the gigabytes of material. A snapshot of a typical file tree would be very beneficial. Between Design Cuts graphic elements and all the Photoshop actions, textures, fonts, text brushes I’m a mess. I know I have some useful stuff, but finding it is a nightmare. Thanx!

  • Megan

    Hey Dave,
    Thanks for reading! My filing system looks something like this:

    Asset-Library > Commercial-Use, Personal-Use

    Commercial-Use > Brushes, Email-Templates, Fonts, Icons, Illustrations, Lightroom-Presets, Mockups, Photos, PSD-Actions, Web-Themes

    Then I have each one broken into categories. For example:

    Mockups > Business Cards, Clothing, Digital-Devices, Labels, Magazines, etc.

    I can’t upload an image here, but I uploaded one to Dropbox that you can see here:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/91396701/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-15%20at%2012.14.25%20PM.png

    Mockups and Illustrations are my most used categories, which is why I’ve shown those. I haven’t subdivided them any further because I like to be able to quickly scroll through a category (particularly with photos) and see what I have.

    Hopefully that helps!

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